My ambition and determination to do and to be, fluctuates just as everybody else’s does. My conviction to share and be authentic and to motivate is unrelenting.
What’s the best time to post my blog so I can share on FaceBook and catch your attention? Normally I would say weekends are busy times and you’re competing with the whole world. Right now in Corona times that might not be the case. It’s a warm sunny day. Maybe everybody else will go outside to get some fresh air?
What did you do during the corona lock-down? they ask. Use this time well they say. How did you use all your spare time? they want to know.
Well actually for me, it was rather less time, not more.
I finally retired in July 2019 after raising my five kids and working full-time outside the house for the last twenty years.
Josef was still working so I finally had the “free-time” to overcome my feelings of missing out. I still dwell on my feelings of jealousy and missing out when we did the role-change, twenty-one years ago! I went to work. He stayed home. Then Nathan went to kindergarten and “he” had the mornings free. I never had a free morning! Well, for a few years in Linz we used to get together and manage the children, three or four families together. So once every three weeks I went to teach English privately to an English teacher. We did English conversation. I got some pocket money. I felt some value. The rest of the time I was “just the mother” of two, three or four kids. And of course the other two weeks in between I would have the kids of my one or two girlfriends who had my kids the third week. I really don’t even remember what year that was. We did it for a while and we were in Linz from 1990 to 1996. At the same time, I was also working for the Women’s Federation for World Peace. Therese and I took the front-line on that project. I remember that was when I met Johanna Dohnal the first time. That was the time we began the weekly prayer meetings for the women of Bosnia. So, yes, I had some time off from the kids for a couple of hours once every three weeks and I went to teach English for some pocket money during that time.
Then in Zwettl when Josef came home and suggested we do a role change, when we already had five children and the youngest was just two years old – that was a game-changer.
I went to work in Vienna. We moved to Kirchberg. He stayed home. I took the train to work. He had the car.
I took a job as a “foreign correspondent” for a mail-order company. I was responsible for customer service for their UK branch. It was my first job with an Austrian company. My work was in English. My colleagues were all German-speaking. The office and business was run in German. No problem for me. I became the expert at identifying duplicate addresses as the Austrians had no clue about reading the English handwriting, nor the structure of the English addresses. Then we even got letters from Ireland and I was so surprised to learn that they did not use postcodes in Ireland. And so we could not deliver to Ireland because our whole system was set up based on postcodes!
So you see again, all that I want to share. I just wanted to tell you that after working all day in the office and then coming home to my kids and family and travelling to work and back in between, I was fairly maxed out and still had no time for myself. That’s how I felt. Of course, I ended up reading all of Harry Potter on the train. At one stage I was even watching Person of Interest on my mobile phone – once I eventually insisted on getting a mobile phone for myself. When I first started work, “he” had the car, the mobile phone and the computer. I came home on the train and found him sitting at the computer.
Can you understand my feelings? Was there no reason to be jealous?
You see, now I have my own laptop and I use it to blog and vlog and I also do our family accounts. That was not possible on the family pc. Dig this photo with the kids.

ONE Computer

Yes Mum?

Yes, we only had one computer for the seven of us. No reason to be jealous? Of course not! I am just so grateful for all I have and have had. It’s just that sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. So anyhow, I finally had time to digest my long hoarded feelings, had time to write, reflect and organize my photos, accounts and life. Finally had time to just let go.
Then Whoosh! Here comes Corona. Everybody’s at home. Oh, do you have time for a zoom meeting? Sure. Can you help with Toastmasters? Of course.
No. No. No!
Still difficult for me to say no as I love to contribute and want to maintain a reputation. Yet, really. This year is my project health. This year I am getting my knees done and all the other projects will be on the back burner until I am fit enough to contribute 100% again.
So now my operation has been cancelled. I am stuck in my flat. My knees still hurt. Josef goes out cycling or walking or shopping. And I am just happy to be at home. Thankfully “home” is now a lovely apartment in the beautiful city of Vienna. It is big enough to walk around and keep out of each other’s way. We have a dedicated office and a separate bedroom. We have more room now for just the two of us than we ever had for the whole family of seven. We do not have a garden however, nor a balcony, nor a south-facing window where the sun shines in. The plants still love it. They are doing well. We are not allowed to have cats. We are grateful. We’re doing fine.
Josef cooks the lunch. Josef prepares the dinner. Josef goes shopping.
He asked me to prepare a laudation for his 65th birthday. We had to cancel his birthday party. Well, at least postpone it. His story and his Family Forum. His documents and his publications. That’s his story. Yes of course I am grateful to support him. And now even though I no longer have my generous UN pay, I do get a modest UN pension which makes it possible to stay in this apartment at least a little while longer.
So, whatever else comes now, we’re working through it. We’ll make our contribution. We’ll do what we can. I’ll keep you posted.